Bird of Paradise Flower – A Very Special Flower
Artistic, modern and brave women and men alike are already enamored with the bird of paradise flowers. People who love birds of paradise are usually open-minded, creative and inspired by the tropics and by Southern style. The shape and colors of this unique flower are unmistakable and commonly used in tropical destinations; indoors as cut flowers and outdoors as large plants to decorate areas around pools and in front of southern homes and commercial buildings.
The bird of paradise flowers stands tall and proud in all its glory at the tip of its long and extra sturdy stem. The stunning bird-like flower emerges out of its perpendicular spathe so that the effect is one of a bird`s head and beak peaking out. In the wild, birds enjoy perching on this flower head and pollinating the flowers. Three orange sepals and three deep blue petals emerge from the spathe and showcase its stunning beauty and unmistakable flower head.
What does the bird of paradise flower symbolize?
Symbolically, birds of paradise represent happiness which only makes sense because these long and bright blooms are bound to add joy to the celebration they are featured in. Tropical and colorful, bird of paradise flowers are ideal to feature at weddings, retirement parties, tropical theme parties, graduations, birthdays, reunions and in the halls and entrances of homes, offices and hospitals to bring cheer and unique touch to any setting.
Although the bird of paradise flowers can look amazing all by itself in bouquets and arrangements, pairing the vibrant orange and blue of birds of paradise with orchids, roses, curly willow, protea, ginger and beargrass makes for an extra special party setting.
Bird of Paradise Flower is now a well known and popular cut flower that provides an exotic view and touch to a room, hall or house. It was named as Bird of Paradise flower because of its spectacular flowers evocative of an exotic bird, resembling the beak of a bird with spiked head plumage.
The Bird of Paradise, Giant Bird of Paradise and Crane Flower names for a genus of plants Strelitzia. This Bird of Paradise flower and its family are tropical plants with fabulous flora resembling exotic birds having spiked and long beaks.
This genus of Strelitzia is considered an evergreen plant with leaves that are akin to banana, they only differ in size for banana leaves are larger than the Bird of Paradise. But of course, the length of the leaves of the Bird of Paradise can grow long up to 30 inches and the stem could go up to 60 inches from the ground to the base of the Bird of Paradise Flower.
Planting the Bird of Paradise Flower
If you are engulfed and captivated by the exotic beauty of Bird of Paradise flower, you better start to plant your own and enjoy the touch it could add to your backyard and to your house. To be able to grow the plant successfully, there are guidelines to be followed. You should understand that Strelitzia plants prefer to grow in humid and tropical areas, for the fact that this plant is native to South America and South Africa.
If you live in a much colder place, you could cultivate it indoor using pots or if not establish your glasshouse. Like other cut flower plants, you could harvest your Bird of Paradise flower if you give proper care plus diligence to it. Some considerations are the soil type and texture, it should be rich in nutrients, open to the sun or partially shaded, and must have essential drainage.
Bird of Paradise Plant Care
In addition to these, below are more specific tips to care for Bird of Paradise plants: Keep the soil moist especially during the growing period, spring through summer, irrigation is needed.
- Make sure that the plant absorbs enough sunshine.
- Keep the plant at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
- Regularly prune the plant, keeping guarded for suckers.
- After the plant’s first bloom, you can divide the mature plant to increase its stock. However; take note that the new plants will bloom after a few years. Propagation then is solely done by suckering.
- Potted plants need to be fertilized often because of the nutrients leaching from the pot.
- Do not plant Bird of Paradise too near the house. The suckers could easily destroy garden walls, or even house side walls especially when the footing is not well-founded.
Species of the Bird of Paradise Flower
Some species of Strelitzia are the following:
- Strelitzia Alba, Bird of Paradise that is color white.
- Strelitzia Caudata, the African desert banana.
- Strelitzia Reginae, Crane lily or Bird of paradise – manageable plant but needs patience as it takes six years before it will start to bloom.
- Strelitzia Juncea. A slow grower and is different from other Strelitzia for the leaves disappear over time.
- Strelitzia Nicolai can tolerate slight frost.
Five Floral Décor Ideas
1. Create dramatic and grandiose arrangements by starting with a central branch or miniature tree trunk in a wide mouth cylinder vase. Line the bottom of the vase with river rocks and then arrange full-length birds of paradise around it to match and contrast the height of the wood. Add jewels onto the branch stems if you feel so inclined, or leave them bare.
2. In short centerpiece, dishes use wet floral foam and cover it with foliage such as pittosporum or leather leaf. Add a few stems of birds of paradise along with protea, anthurium and roses, perhaps with a touch of oncidium orchid to create a stunning tropical floral display.
3. For a ceremony or reunion that you want to tropicalize, use natural-looking wooden chairs and tie a full-length bird of paradise to the back of them with raffia for a wonderful focal point for your guests as they are sitting down.
4. For an easy and eye-catching centerpiece, use 2-3 large wide mouth cylinder vases, fill with water and simply insert 1-3 birds in each vase. Submerge the flower heads halfway, fully or completely for maximum effect. Surround the vases with candles and/or rose petals or orchid heads to complete the look.
5. For a festive and fun centerpiece, use a martini glass to create an all yellow (or purple) bouquet. Insert in a piece of wet foam at the center of your glass and fill the showy areas of the glass with matching florist beads, magic crystals or decorative stone to hide the central flower foam. Create a bouquet in the foam with a combination of yellow roses, yellow carnations, yellow Peruvian lilies and chrysanthemums.
Complete your martini glass mounded bouquet with greenery accents. Finally, stick 2 birds of paradise at the center of your arrangement along with a couple of party horns to complete your bright bouquet.